Hey guys, im a 14 year old kid living with a single layed off mom. I just got into fly fishing and am looking to get a rod and reel. I dont have much money because i have yet to get a job, and my mom doesnt have any money she can spare on this. i dont want to buy one of those 50 dollar rods because they will cost me more trouble then the savings, so i was thinking something like the launch? rs4? or atleast these are a few of the rods ive ever herd of. Or if anybody has any old rods they have they can spare for a young kid to have. and any reccomendations on reels would be great too. or if anybody has a reel to spare. and i really would not like to spend much money on these. ive got 60 bucks saved right now and hopefully will get more soon. and im looking for maybe a 3wtor lower to use for small creeks and small lakes for trout and panfish, and something like a 5,6,or7 for steelhead, salmon, and trout. well atleast this is what a neighbor told me i should be getting
Thanks a lot for all the responses and stuff,
Steven - it's great you want to get into fly fishing, and I think you'll get a lot of good advice from folks on the board here to get you started.
Whereabouts are you? The reason I ask is that some steelhead waters are pretty big bruising waters, wide with fast currents, where you may want a 7 or 8 weight. Other areas with smaller streams you could probably get away with a 6 weight-though that would be pretty light for most areas. A 6 would be a good weight for trout too. A 7 or 8 would be a bit heavy for trout, but a good choice for steelhead in most waters and bass (since some types of steelhead fishing are chuck and duck, or fishing with a lot of added split shot as weight and a lot of flies for bass are big wind resistant stuff like poppers, having a heavier weight rod is often helpful for casting).
If you live in a part of the country that a 6 might work for steelhead, it would be a good all around weight for trout and bass too, and it would still be fun to catch panfish on it.
Here's my opinion for what it's worth:
Ditch plans for the 3 weight for now- it would be a great weight to add for panfish down the road, but just isn't as versatile for other stuff and i think you'd find it harder to cast at first than a heavier weight outfit. You'll still have plenty of fun catching them on whatever else you get.
Sage makes great rods, but they're expensive as you know. The fact is, that technology has improved rod construction a ton in the last 10 years or so, and rather than hold out for a Sage Launch you might consider a less expensive--- but still decent outfit. (By the way, if you have your heart set on a Sage, the Launch is being discontinued by Sage and replaced with a newer rod, so you can find a Sage Launch 2-piece now for around 165 bucks marked down from 220, just for the rod).
Since you'll need a fly reel, fly line and a bunch of other things (flies, fly box waders, net, leaders, spools of tippet, etc and maybe a vest etc), the bucks can add up quickly. Rather than wait to save up a ton of money before you can start fishing, I would consider a Redington Crosswater, with rod, reel, and fly line for 99 bucks (this is a good price in the link and is marked down from 160- which is what it still sells for in many other places. ). Here's the specs for a 2 piece 6 weight. Redington is owned by the same company that owns Sage.
And I'm sure there are other inexpensive but decent quality outfits that other folks on the board can recommend.
Another option if you have a local fly shop in the area is to ask if they have any used equipment- sometimes you can get great deals on lightly used stuff demo rods/reels, stuff that was used in fly fishing schools or loaned out to clients on guided trips or trade ins from customers. They might even throw in a few freebie casting lessons to get you started and you'll get a ton of advice about fishing local waters.
Since trout fishing in most places is starting to wind down, and steelhead fishing is about to click into high gear, if there's a good chance that you'll be doing a lot of it, I'd probably think about getting an outfit geared towards steelhead. Depending on where you are, you MIGHT get away with a 6 weight, which could be used on trout and bass too, but in many areas of the country you'd want a 7 or 8 (also good for bass but a bit heavy for trout.) It's tough to get one rod to do everything-- I'd probably lean towards a 7 weight now for steelhead and a 5 weight in the spring for trout (instead of a 6 weight for trout).
Hope this helps- keep asking questions. I just want to emphasize that there is a lot of marketing hype that makes people believe that you need to spend big bucks on gear to get started. The main thing though is to get out there with what you can comfortably afford, fish hard, and have fun!
Not trying to rain on anyones parade, but in my opinion, you don't have to spend tons of money to get a decent rod that will catch fish. I have a couple nice rods, including a $300 3 wt Redington, but the rod I carry in the car most often, partly because it breaks down small (4 pieces), and partly because it works, it was cheap and if someone steals it I am not out too much (I drive a wrangler soft top) is the Scientific Angler Trout and Panfish combo. I have caught a lot of fish on it both with Dries and nymphs including the 5lb brown I caught last weekend in the Truckee River, and I bought it at Walmart for $80. Came with a rod, reel, floating line, etc. Basically just add a fly and buy some tippet (for when you need to add a little on) and floatant and you can be on the water fishing. For another 15 or 20 you can buy the case that goes with it.
Again, in my opinion, there are some great rods and reels out there, but for a beginner who has cashflow issues, and wants an ok rod to get started with, and if you cant get one in a garage sale or if someone doesn't have a spare they will give you, then this is not a bad deal. The rod is a 9 ft 5/6 weight and it is called a Trout and Panfish package, I have a buddy who also watched the sales and picked up a 3wt from Cabelas for about $120 so this might be an option for you as well.
While having a great rod is something we all like, just read through some posts and I think you will find that everyone has thier own idea of which is the best rod - including me. I think it is best for a beginner to get an OK rod in hand, do lost of casting practice and get on the river to do some fishing, then, as you get better at this sport, and money becomes more available, you can make your decision on which rod you like best, whether you want a fast, medium, medium fast, slow rod; how you use the reel (line holder or get em on the reel and let the drag work the fish - which I did on this rod and reel last week).
Just a thought for you, I am sure others will have other opinions, so, as with all advice, take what works for you and ignore the rest.
I agree with Webrx, I started with whatever I could scrape together and went fishing. Don't fall into the mindset that if it isn't the rod featured in the ad's in the latest fishing magazine it won't work. Get what you can and get out there.
By the way, welcome to the forum; I would also advise you to save your money for a good pair of waders. I say this because given the choice of being comfortable and dry while using a value priced rod or having an expensive rod and leaky waders, I'll take those waders every time.
I fish almost all the time with a 9' 7wt. Quarrow fly rod I bought on eBay for 61 dollars delivered. It's not the rod Flykid, it's the person holding the rod that catches the fish.
Hope these posts give you a nudge toward staying within your means and learning to fly fish.
I would have to agree with web and hardy. I bought a really nice 5wt from Cabelas and a really nice Martin 3wt from troutlet.com. I paid about 70 bucks for the three forks from Cabelas and about 60 for the Martin which included line and leader. I love them both and neither have let me down.
On another note I also bought 2 south forks rods, both 7wt for my kids, these were 45 each without line.
Bottom line, for the beginner in us we love them and I don't think that I will have to go out and buy another rod for a long, long time. Oh, and all of these rods came with reels.
LL Bean has a good starter rod / reel / line / leader, etc. for $75.00. It comes in a couple of weights and sizes, so that should not be a problem. However, a 5 wt. is probably going to turn out to be the most versatile rod that you could start with. Have a look. It may not be what you're looking for, but it will catch lots of fish for you. And one of the things that I like about Bean's is that if it ever breaks, they'll replace it for you at no charge.
You got a good piece of information from HardyReels, who told you that it's the fly fisher and not the rod that really makes the difference. A good rod in the hands of a mediocre fly fisher is worth much less than an inexpensive rod in the hands of a good fly fisher. The person catches the fish, the gear is secondary. The important thing is to get out on the water and see how you like fly fishing. If you do, then you'll find a way to get the gear that you want; it just happens.
Welcome to the forum. Ard nailed it. Its not the rod its the person holding the rod. There are other things you will need beside the rod and reel. Like flies, tippet, leader, etc.
Watch craigslist and talk to some local fly fisherman they maybe willing to let you work off an old rod and reel.
I have been fly fishing for 5 years. My first rod was a used 8'6" 5wt Temple Fork Signature rod. I think I paid $45 for the rod in Cabelas bargain basement and $40 for a hobbs creek reel at bass pro. Both my sons, daughter and wife cut their fly fishing teeth on this rod/reel. My wife and I still use this rod/reel as our backup.
Welcome to the Site Kid...Ard and Web both gave you some great advice; not that the others didn't...Look for something reasonably priced to fish with, when you're better off financially you can start buying the premium stuff.
Steve.Hope you can find what you want to go fishing.You should have a look on e bay too there are great deals...maybe second hand items.Pity you're so far...I gave a rod,a vest and a line this year. But I can send you a few flies if you like.Why not send him a few flies guys or ask a member to collect some for him? I'm in...anyone else?I think most of us have full boxes...